On 7 July, MAF’s latest aircraft - PK-MVK - finally made her first operational flight to Emdoman Village following months of coronavirus travel restrictions. On board the one-hour flight were boxes of the New Testament and food supplies destined for remote communities in the central mountainous region of Yahukimo Regency…
MAF’s Mike Brown had the pleasure of piloting PK-MVK’s first Papua flight from Sentani - MAF’s base in the north - to Emdoman further south, which would have taken several days travel by road, plus additional hiking.
The nearly new Quest Kodiak 100 aircraft - originally purchased in 2018 - did not arrive in Sentani until 25 April, due to coronavirus travel restrictions.
PK-MVK is MAF’s 11th Kodiak and the latest aircraft to join MAF’s global fleet.
On 12 May, the aircraft finally received its certificate of airworthiness from the Indonesian Aviation Authority.
Remembering Joyce Lin
This date also marks the one-year anniversary of Joyce Lin’s death – the MAF Papua pilot who tragically lost her life while flying Covid-19 test kits, PPE, soap and medication to Mamit in the Highlands.
Certificates of airworthiness usually take months to come through, but on this occasion, the process took a fraction of the time as Brad Hoaglun, MAF’s Director of Corporate Communication, testifies:
‘Typically, a certificate of airworthiness can take up to 6 months following the inspection of a new aircraft. Our team was delighted when approval came in just 4 weeks – and on the special anniversary of Joyce Lin’s accident.’
Brad Hoaglun, MAF’s Director of Corporate Comms
When MAF’s PK-MVK was finally approved for service on the anniversary of Joyce’s death, MAF Papua held a special event at the Sentani aircraft hangar to dedicate MAF's latest acquisition to God and to celebrate Joyce’s life.
The team wore bright blue t-shirts emblazoned with the word, ‘ReJoyce!’ on the front to commemorate the occasion. On the back were the Papuan words ‘Bertumbuh’ (meaning ‘to grow’), ‘Berbuah’ (meaning ‘to bear fruit’), and ‘Bersatu’ (meaning ‘to come together’).
PK-MVK will meet many needs
PK-MVK will be used for a variety of tasks as Brad Hoaglun explains:
‘This aircraft will be used for medical evacuations (medevacs), transporting medical staff and equipment and flying teachers, pastors, and Bible translators in and out of remote areas.
‘The Kodiaks can also deliver larger items like solar panels and boxes of food and possibly Covid-19 vaccines. These planes are often the only connection with the outside world. They are a workhorse on the mission field.’
The first Kodiak in Papua to have weather radar
PK-MVK will join two other Quest Kodiak 100 and four Cessna Caravan aircraft in Papua. This latest model – with only 50 flight hours on the clock - also has the added bonus of a weather radar, which will significantly help MAF Pilot, Mike Brown:
‘This is the first Kodiak aircraft to be fitted with radar technology in the MAF Papua fleet, which is a great addition to the plane. Weather radar significantly improves the pilot’s situational awareness. In the tropics, we get quite a few ‘pop-up’ storms, and this technology helps us to determine the severity of those storms so that we can avoid them or fly through less stormy skies.’
A Kodiak is well-suited for MAF’s work in Indonesia given its ‘short-field capacity’, ie, its capability for short take-offs and landings from the most basic, unpaved and remotest of airstrips.
It can also accommodate either heavy cargo or fly up to 10 passengers.
This particular Kodiak has also been upgraded with a high-frequency satellite, a single point fuelling system, larger tyres and a cargo pod. It has a high-wing, unpressurised, single-engine turboprop with a fixed tricycle gear.